Sunday, June 30, 2013

Evolution of An Amateur Genealogist Part III - Speedy Gonzales Has Retired

This is the third part of what is becoming an on-going series of posts discussing my personal evolution as a genealogist and lessons I'm learning.  Here are the links so that you can read Part I and Part II.
How many of you remember the Looney Tunes cartoon character, Speedy Gonzales, from several years back?  He was the little "Mexican" mouse who was always rushing around getting into trouble and causing mischief.  (Admittedly, not very politically correct, but not many people knew what "PC" was back then.)  I have to admit that for much of the time I have been doing my genealogy/family history research, Speedy Gonzales would probably be a pretty good representation of how I worked.  (I actually considered calling this post the Retirement of Speed Racer, but I wasn't much of a Speed Racer fan when I was younger - I was more partial to Looney Tunes.)  I was racing from one find to the next, always eager to make new finds and trace things back one more generation.  I somewhat blame and Family Tree Maker for this habit.  No, I don't mean that it is a fault of the program or website.  What I mean is that one of the greatest strengths of Ancestry and the FTM program is that they make basic genealogy research very easy for the beginner and in my case, that contributed to my self-perceived need for speed.

Well, I can tell you without a doubt, that Speedy Gonzales has now retired from genealogy.

Sunday's Obituary - Clara Augusta (Paessler) Hill

This week's Sunday Obituary is for my great grandmother, Clara Augusta (Paessler) Hill (25 Aug 1881 - 21 Jan 1970).

Clara Hill obituary,
Upper Sandusky, Ohio,
Upper Sandusky Daily Chief-Union,
22 Jan 1970, p.1 column 3
Great Grandma Hill's parents, Herman and Augusta Paessler, were German immigrants, and Clara was the youngest of their children.  From letters that I have seen and have copies of, Clara was rather well traveled in her later years as I have found letters from her to my grandmother that are post marked California, Arizona and Texas.  From the letters, it appears that Great Grandma Hill took a several months long trip to visit her children that lived in various states around the country.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past - I know when, but not why

Earl Link (2nd front row, 2nd from right)
Picture taken 23 March 1935
Neuman Photography Studio
Ft. Wayne, IN
This Friday's Faces from the Past photo is one of the many "mystery" photos that came home with me from my trip last week.  The reason that I call these pictures "mystery photos" is that while I am able to identify one or more family members in many of the pics, I have not been able to identify the why or sometimes when of the pictures.  The photo above is one such picture.

We found this picture in my grandmother's things this past week.  The man seated 2nd from the right in front is clearly my grandfather, Earl Link.  The picture had a few great clues on the back of it: 1) It was clearly dated March 23, 1935; 2) it had a stamp from the studio where it was taken - Neuman Studio, Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Unfortunately, beyond that, there are no clues about what this picture is or why it was taken.

The "school boy" look of many of the men in it (including my grandfather) at first made me think that perhaps it was a school reunion; however, the age difference in a few of the men would seem to shoot down that theory (also the fact that my grandfather went to school in Ohio and not in Indiana).  A second idea was that perhaps this was some sort of promotional photo for where my grandfather worked.  I have information that he did work for Sears at some point in his life, but his Railroad Retirement Board file clearly shows that in 1935, my grandfather was working for the Pennsylvania Railroad.

I have one other theory that as of yet, I have not been able pursue... My grandfather was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (essentially the union for railroad workers) at some point during his career.  One of my theories about this picture is that perhaps it is the "freshman class" photo for the newest members of his local Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers #12.  My younger brother and I are in the process of trying to track down records for my grandfathers membership in the union, but until we find those, I won't have much to go on for this theory.

I have no doubt that the clues that are provided on the picture itself will help me track this down (I'm already working on the Neuman Studio clue), but until then, this picture remains one of of those faces from the past colored in a little mystery.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Winter Work

"Ira and Donald Washler"
(as written on the original)
date unknown
I love this picture just because it shows what life was like for my grandfather's generation during the winters - hard work just to bring in the wood needed to keep warm when snow was covering everything.

The picture does need a little explanation...the writing on the back of this picture identifies the individuals as "Ira and Donald Washler" which I can confirm is at least partially true.  The man on the right is most definitely my grandfather, Donald A. Washler.  However, there was no "Ira Washler" as far as I have been able to find.  My best guess at this point is that the other man in the picture is actually Donald's brother-in-law, Ira Reinhart.  Ira married Donald's sister, Stella.

I have a few requests out to family members to see if my hunch on this picture is correct.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Donald and Mary (Hablawetz) Washler

This week's Tombstone Tuesday post is of my father's parents, Donald and Mary (Hablawetz) Washler.  I have only very very vague memories of my grandfather and unfortunately no memories of my grandmother since both died when I was still relatively young.  It wasn't until I started doing my genealogy research that I knew that my grandfather actually died on my 4th birthday.

My grandparents are buried in Riverview Cemetery in Newville, Indiana.  This is the same cemetery where both of their parents, many of their siblings and many of the family ancestors are buried.
Donald and Mary (Hablawetz) Washler
Riverview Cemetery, Newville, DeKalb County, IN

Donald Adelbert WASHLER:  b. 10 June 1898 in Concord Twp, DeKalb County, IN
                                               d. 11 December 1975 in Auburn, IN
                                                m. 28 March 1929 in United Brethren Church of Newville, IN

Mary Louise HABLAWETZ:   b. 07 August 1907 in Wilmington Twp., DeKalb County, IN
                                               d. 25 August 1973 in Auburn, IN

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sentimental Sunday - Going Home

I have to apologize to my readers - I have been AWOL from the blog and pretty much all social media for the past week.  My absence was for a very good reason.  This past week, I went back home to my
childhood home to spend the week with my brother and sisters and our dad.  I wish I could say that it was all pleasure and fun, but we were home with a purpose.  The week was a rough one in some respects, but a pleasure and incredibly rewarding in others.

My mom passed away just over six years ago, and at the time, we went through her personal effects, but we never dealt with were the years, and years (and years) of accumulated things that were in the house.  This week, we all went home to go through the house and divide up the pictures and everything else.

What we found as we were going through the house was almost overwhelming.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Follow Friday - June 14

Several of my posts for this Friday were part of a series of posts.  Two sets came from bloggers who are attending the Institute for Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University up the road in Birmingham, Alabama.  I even found time this week to find a few new blogs to follow.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Motivation Monday - Goals, Goals and more Goals

I've been a very goal driven person for as long as I can remember.  Growing up, I had personal goals, goals for sports I was involved in, goals for school, etc.  In my adult life, the habit has remained with me...I have had and continue to have financial, personal, professional, and even educational goals.  Interestingly, in my genealogy, that habit never really formed very well.  I don't know if it was because genealogy was a passion/obsession and a "hobby" or if it was just that I didn't quite understand how to set goals for my genealogy research, but I've never been much of a goal-setter in that realm.

That has all changed over the past few months.  It started with some basic "To Do" lists and the habit has finally set in so that each month I review last month, and set a few new goals for the coming month.  Since I find that being held accountable by another person helps with achieving goals, I thought I would start sharing my monthly and annual goals here on the blog.

June is going to be a busy month with a trip back home for a week, so I trimmed back on what I'm planning to accomplish, but here are June's goals:

1)  Write two blog posts per week.  This is actually a scaling back goal for me.  I want to pull back on the volume of my blog posts and concentrate more on the quality of the posts.  Hopefully over the next month or so, my readers will see a positive change in the posts here!

2)  Finish reading Thomas W. Jones' Mastering Genealogical Proof.  This is in preparation for a study group that I am in which begins on July 1.  I want to finish reading the book one time through completely before going back and fully studying it.

3)  Complete the organization of my paper files.  I have been trying to get all of my paper research filed in the appropriate surname and family folders so that I can go back and start on more in-depth analysis of each piece that I have.

4)  Catch up on other genealogy reading.  I have several white papers that I've downloaded that I just need to sit down and read through.

5)  Evaluate the Evidentia software program.  I just need to install the program and work with it for a while to see if it is something I want to continue using.

So there you have June goals.  I can't say that they are overly exciting or anything, but no one ever said that genealogy was exciting all of the time!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Follow Friday - June 7

Here are just a few of the blog posts I enjoyed this week, and a few blogs that are new to me.

My Journey with the GPS - I found this blog post courtesy of a link on Twitter, and I loved the article because I think it shows the process that so many genealogists go through when they start out on their journey.

Confession of an Online Genealogist - Again, this is a confession that so many of us would probably make!

Tech Tuesday: Organizing with Evernote - As a huge fan of Evernote and someone who is really ramping up my use of it for Genealogy, I loved this article!

Simplifying Your Online Genealogy Life - All I can say is "Amen!!"  Love her strategies and suggestions.

Trying Out Evidentia - This was a last minute entry onto my list, but I have been reading about and considering trying Evidentia for a while now.  This post pretty much pushed me over the edge.

New (to me) Blogs this week:

Brenner Genealogy (Stardust 'N' Roots Blog)
West in New England

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Proud Mom on Wedding Day

Clara (Paessler) Hill
16 June 1925
A couple of months ago, for a Wedding Wednesday post, I posted a few pictures from my grandparent's wedding.  As I was going through my old pictures today, I ran across one more that I thought I would share. This is my great grandmother, Clara (Paessler) Hill on her daughter Hannah's wedding day.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Isaac and Anna (Brown) Link

Grave marker for Isaac and Anna (Brown) Link
Chandler Cemetery, Wyandot County, Ohio
Today's tombstone is for my 2nd great grandparents, Isaac and Anna (Brown) Link.  I have written about Isaac and Anna a few times before.  Isaac and Anna have presented a bit of a mystery for me as far as why they seemed to wander through the south late in their lives.  Even their tombstone presented a challenge for me.  This is actually a great example of how information from one source can be wrong even if it is "carved in stone."

You see, I took this picture early on in my genealogy research.  I figured it gave me some basic information and I could build from there.  What I didn't realize at the time is that Isaac's death year is wrong on his tombstone!  Isaac Link died on December 12, 1910, not in 1911 as written on his tombstone.  I would love to say that I have a death certificate to prove this, but unfortunately, Isaac died in Georgia in 1910 which was  before the state started requiring death certificates in 1919.  The wonderful County Recorder in Dublin, Georgia did a search for me, but unfortunately was unable to locate any death certificate for Isaac.  However, my most solid evidence to dispute the 1911 death year is that Isaac's obituary was published in the Wyandot County Republican on December 16, 1910.  As far as sources, information and evidence goes, the publishing of his obituary prior to 1911 is pretty conclusive evidence that the date is incorrect!

Many facts about Isaac and Anna's lives are still shrouded in the mists of time for me, but with careful research, I have no doubt that I am going to uncover why they wandered through the south, and find enough evidence to say that I have proven where and when Isaac died.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Surname Saturday - Myers

This week's Surname Saturday post is another of my little researched lines, they Myers family.  I have the family back a few generations (to my 4th great grand father), but this is another of those that most of what I have at this point has come from a compiled family tree that had no citations or documentation accompanying it, so I don't really consider anything other than my 2nd great grandmother, Mary Ann (Myers) Farver to be "proven" genealogy.

Surname: Myers

Variations:  None that I have found to this point

Origins:  The information that I have takes the family back to Pennsylvania with George Washington Myers who was born in 1779.  I cannot say that he was born in Pennsylvania, but the compiled genealogy that I am starting from indicates that his son was born somewhere in Pennsylvania.  From there, the next potentially accurate information that I have shows the family in Crawford County, Ohio near New Washington.  The family continued to move a bit further west into eastern Indiana and various counties in western Ohio.

Goals/Challenges/Plans:  I don't really have a lot of unusual challenges ahead with this family that I know of, but I have definitely been setting goals.  This line will be a "fresh" adventure for me when I start on it simply because I have nothing documented other than my great great grandmother's maiden name.

Isaac and Mary Ann (Myers) Farver

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